ALTHOUGH I’VE NEVER really been one of those rah rah “Buy American” types, I decided to do something to support a homegrown local industry and a struggling business.

As a proud Adelphia cable subscriber, I ordered up some porn.

After all, I’m a resident of the San Fernando Valley, the world’s porn capital. There was even a house around the block that neighbors referred to in hushed tones as the “porn house,” apparently because a lot of filming went on there, with people coming and going at all hours. (Unlike most movie sets, nobody loiters outside porn shoots drinking coffee.)

Even in jest, discussing porn is a tentative proposition, thanks to the puritanical streak that runs through this nation. Yet given the billions spent annually on “adult entertainment” and its influence on new technologies, somebody must be anteing up — including all those business travelers buying movies (listed on the bill as “Movie,” not “Sorority Hook-ups 7″) and viewing them for an average seven minutes.

The disconnect stems from the fact that while smut peddlers might be organized their customers aren’t, in much the way pot smokers either forget to protest for their rights or decide to eat a Big Mac instead. So as with most things, when it comes to lurid content the squeaky wheel — or more accurately, the wheel most prone to inundate the FCC with form letters — gets the grease.

As a consequence, the debate becomes a trifle one sided. The morality police weigh in, but those who patronize bastions of sleaze stay silent, uncomfortable about standing up to be counted.

WE’VE JUST COME OFF a Super Bowl where the buzz was all about the culture wars, allowing beer marketers and the NFL — the same entities that feature buxom women wrestling and scantily clad sideline dancers — to pose as guardians of our viewing chastity. In the kind of item the Onion would compose, published accounts say an amusing Godaddy.com ad spoofing broadcast censorship was itself denied a second airing by Fox — that’s right, Fox — at the NFL’s behest.

Of course, what a group like the Parents Television Council fails to acknowledge in its recent denunciation of MTV is that the channel has prospered precisely because teens tune in hoping to see some form of wardrobe malfunction. About the only honesty on the topic lately came from ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” where a teenage boy sleeping with an older woman mentions attending abstinence class, and his father says that just once he’d have liked to take such a spectacular tumble off the morality bandwagon.

This doesn’t mean parents should sit still while their kids are exposed to inappropriate and salacious material, but they must also recognize that tucking the kids in and then hitting the “order” button makes such productions viable.

ALL OF WHICH brings us back to Adelphia, the one-time pillar of moral virtue now facing a bankruptcy auction, which has begun offering XXX porn on some systems (though as it turns out, not mine). For those who don’t know what the third “X” means, there it was in the Los Angeles Times — a paper that seeks to curtail explicit language — stating that the distinction represents showing “anal sex and visible ejaculation.”

Adelphia didn’t need to promote the shift, since the press ran with the story. Expect buy rates to spike upward, in the same way the new docu “Inside Deep Throat” — and plans to reissue the original film — remind us there’s nothing new about the appetite for prurient diversions, or for that matter efforts to curb them.

As for Super Bowl XXXIX, the Roman numerals might be there to add a touch of class, but they could just as easily stand for all the XXX-somethings out there, who, in their own quiet way contribute to an economy where XX + X = $$$.

RESPECT TO THE DON: Whatever “Nightline’s” fate amid renewed speculation about its future, the ABC news program remains a bastion of sobriety on subjects other than celebrity trials, as evidenced by a two-part report beginning today featuring Don Cheadle’s trip to the Sudan.

What might sound like a stunt — sending a camera crew with the “Hotel Rwanda” star’s fact-finding delegation — provides serious reflection of the horror currently transpiring in Africa and the temptation to look away from it.

Kudos, then, to both Cheadle and the program, still broadcast news’ standard-bearer, for however long that lasts.

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